Libraries secure state funding

CHRISTOPHER LENNEY/WATERTOWN DAILY TIMES

Public libraries in St. Lawrence, Jefferson and Lewis counties are on the receiving end of state construction grant funds.

According to Tuesday news releases from state Sens. Joseph A. Griffo, R-Rome, and Patricia A. Ritchie, R-Heuvelton, the awards which are being distributed among 18 libraries in their districts, including Potsdam, Norwood, Norfolk, Canton and Hammond in St. Lawrence County, Belleville, Dexter, Mannsville and Black River in Jefferson County and Lowville in Lewis County.

Potsdam Public Library will receive $297,017 for new heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) system, lighting and other interior upgrades.

Norwood Public Library is receiving $73,997 to expand the children’s area, create a new teen space and install sidewalks, while Hepburn Library of Norfolk will get $13,405 to refurbish historic arch windows for energy efficiency.

‘Wow,” Potsdam Library Director Ann T. Chase said with surprise as she was just learning of the award. “Well, it’s really exciting to be able to bring in this money from the state and put it to good use in Potsdam. Our building has been badly needing renovation for a long time and this will help us make an impact.”

Norwood Library Director Amanda I. Jones was also surprised and excited to learn of the news and said the funding will allow improvements and restructuring of the existing interior space, including the replacement of damaged shelving with mobile, installing new flooring, creating a modernized teen space, relocating the computer area and reconfiguring the children’s area layout.

“I’m very excited that funds were awarded to our Norwood Community and look forward to an updated space for our patrons,” Ms. Jones said. “The board of trustees has been considering a renovation of the building interior for several years and I’ll be happy to see these plans come to fruition.”

The Belleville Philomathean Free Library, Dexter Free Library, Mannsville Free Library and Sally Ploof Hunter Memorial Library are each set to receive $13,038, $6,874, $55,538, and $135,607, respectively.

The Lowville Free Library will receive $24,091 for roof upgrades and a generator.

Oswego County libraries receiving funding includes Fulton Public Library at $26,030 and Parish Public Library at $237,875.

The state aid for library construction grant funds support projects are supported by a $34 million capital fund appropriation in the 2018 State Budget for construction and renovation of public libraries and public library systems in New York State.

“Our public libraries have evolved into more than just a place where people can check out books,” Sen. Griffo stated in the release. “They are now community spaces that offer a variety of important service and resources to families, seniors and residents. I know that this funding will help our libraries to flourish and to become an even stronger part of communities they serve.”

“As our libraries begin to age, it’s critically important that we provide them with the support necessary to maintain their facilities and meet the growing needs of patrons,” Sen Ritchie said in her release. “I am excited to see how libraries throughout Central and Northern New York utilize these funds to enhance the very important services they provide to people of all ages.”

Johnson Newspapers 7.1

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